Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thank You For...

Thought it was time for a post about what I am thankful for. I haven't done one of those in a long time. So, here goes...Five things I am thankful for:

1. Sight - Yes, I wear glasses/contacts, but I can see with help. Even if my sight isn't the best, I have the ability to see with the help of my glasses/contacts. There is so much in this world to see, I want to enjoy it. I love seeing the beautiful colours, the flowers, rivers, mountains, etc. - all beautiful creations from God.

2. My mom - She's so strong, kind, gentle...I want to be more like her. I think since my dad died nearly two years ago, and it's just been us (I've got 2 brothers who both have families) mostly, and I think I've gotten closer to her, which I'm thankful for. I love my mom!

3. My small group - While I find it difficult to let people in and get close to them, last fall I joined a small group (Bible study). I'm still not that close to anyone in the group, but I have allowed myself to feel part of the group. They are a great bunch of men and women, and I learn so much from them. I hope I can grow closer to the people in my small group, and I'm sure that will happen with time and with God's help.

4. My cat - Sounds weird, but I am thankful for my cat. She loves me unconditionally, and helps me to relax and calm down when I'm upset. I think it's true what they say about pets helping to relieve stress. She's not the type of cat to curl up on my lap (or anyone's), but still she's loving and lets me scratch and pet her. I'm thankful that God created cats - they are my favourite pet (I do like dogs too, but I'm more of a cat person).

5. My city/province - I love the area where I live. We are pretty lucky that we don't deal with many of the situations over places in the country, continent, and world must deal with. We don't get the big earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc. that others do. Mind you we can have some extremes in our weather, but nothing like other places.

Those are just a few brief things I'm thankful for. There is so much more I have to be thankful for, and hopefully I can share here to help remind myself just what I have to be thankful for. There is so much going on in the world - so much negativity, so much coveting/wanting/desiring to have, and I think it's important to remember what you do have and be thankful for it. You just never know when it might be taken away.

Your turn. What are you thankful for?

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Buzzing of the Bees in the Sycamore Trees

Ok, so we don't have any sycamore trees, but we definitely have the bees!

The rhododendron is out...well half of it, because the other half is pretty much dead. These blossoms attract several bees and when I was out taking some photos of them, I attempted to photograph the bees. I didn't have my zoom lens on, so I didn't want to get too close and end up getting stung.

Yesterday was beautiful outside, and in the early morning I had one of the living room windows open while I was sitting and reading my Bible. I could hear loud buzzing, and more than a few times I had to check to make sure the screen was on the window - I didn't want any bees flying into the living room! Thankfully the screen was on, so I was safe.

As I sat reading, the buzzing continued. A bee had found its way in between the open window and the screen, and was attempting to get out. I assume that it was seeing what was on the other side of the glass and thought it could get through it to get to its destination. The simple solution would have been for the bee to move three or four more inches to the right and it would have been free (eventually it found its way to freedom), however, it didn't do that; it kept attempting to fly through the glass.

So what does this have to do with anything, you ask? Well, I as I was sitting and thinking (after reading my Bible chapter), about how determined and persistent the bee was in trying to find its escape. No matter how many times it met with failure at flying through the glass, it kept trying - it didn't give up. This made me think of persevering in my walk - to not give up, but to keep seeking, and being persistent in following the Lord, no matter how many times I may fail.

I might not get what God has promised to me today, and maybe not tomorrow, but I can't just give up because things aren't going my way. If I give up, if I stop pursing, then I definitely won't receive what God wants to give me.

God wants to give us His blessings, but if we don't persevere through the trials, if we aren't persistent in our walk, how can we receive them? The book of Hebrews tells us this:
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persever so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36)
No matter how difficult things may seem or may get, we need to remember the importance of persevering until the end. Our ultimate reward will come at the end, when we will have eternal life with Jesus Christ, but along the way, God does give us blessings. If we give up, we won't receive what He wants to give us. If we don't accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we won't receive eternal life with Him.

Let me encourage you (and myself) to persever, to be persistent in our walks, to not give up along the way. Let's be like the bee that, no matter how hard he tried and failed, he did not give up - he was persistant in finding his way, and eventually he succeeded and received his reward (freedom).

Don't give up my friend, be persistant and persever, no matter what you may be facing.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

God Has A Plan

I am definitely not in a place I would have thought or expected I would be when I was a teenager. I had wanted to be a best selling author, married by 25 to an awesome man, have a two to four kids, have my own house, making a good living...you  name it. I had it all planned out.

But, here I sit and none of those dreams have been realized. None. I haven't been published because I haven't even finished any of the novels I have worked on since then. Ok, well, that's not entirely true...I did get a very short story published in an anthology (I don't think it was widely sold, and I most certainly didn't get paid for it...I had hoped it would give me exposure though). I'm not married, have no kids, and I feel like my time for that is running out quickly. I live in a house, but it's not mine - it's my mom's. Yes, I admit it, I am 41 years old and back to living with my mom. That's because I quit my job eight years ago to go back to school to get my B.A. and eventually my B.Ed. So, I'm not in any position to be out on my own.  Don't get me wrong, I've very thankful I have a place to live, food to eat, etc.

I've been blaming God for things not going as I had planned; I wonder why He's not allowed me a husband, or children, or a job (yes, I do have somewhat of a job - I supply teach, but I don't get a lot of work). Even though I feel like such a loser because of my current situation, deep down I know God has a plan. I have no idea what that plan is, but He does have one.

My prayer is that I would put my focus more on God and pleasing Him, instead of focusing on me and what I want. This is difficult for me (as I'm sure it is for anyone). I see everyone around me getting married, having babies (and this situation is for those in Christian relationships and those not in Christian relationships). It hurts me to the core. All I've ever wanted since I was little was to be married and have kids - and that hasn't happened and doesn't look like it is going to happen any time soon.

I know it's going to be hard to do, but I'm going to try to put my focus on God, on following Him, obeying Him, being more like Jesus than I have been lately. I certainly haven't been feeling the passion I once had, so I'm also praying that the Lord will reignite the passion and flame for being obedient, following Him, being more like Jesus, etc.

God has a plan for me and my life, but I need to seek Him and follow Him in order to fulfil it. And, in all honesty, I do hope this plan includes a husband and children...and that I get those soon (hey, I'm human and still have my desires, and I would be lying if I didn't say that I won't still hope and pray for those things).

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Pete's Awesome Article

Pete Wilson wrote this awesome article. I think it's something that I needed to read in my seemingly ongoing walk. Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comment section.